Something I strive to be aware of: feelings are not consistent. When I was readily preparing my February posts, it occurred to me Valentine’s day would be upon us. How could I make a post in honour of this day? This is the first one in four years that I don’t have reason to celebrate in the traditional sense: my love life seized with a breakup roughly seven months ago now. With it came experience for lots of different emotions regarding relationships and being a young single person. So I’ve been reflecting on all the thoughts I’ve had and finally decided I would share a personal account of these feelings with you. It’s a bit terrifying, but I will do it because I know there are going to be a lot of people struggling with the same emotions. People who in this moment believe nothing will ever change. Here’s your reminder that feelings are not consistent.
I think the easiest way for me to ensure I’ve said everything I want to say is to go through everything chronologically. So with that in mind, I’ll begin with the initial impact of the breakup. Honestly, it’s a slight dark area for me too, because I don’t remember it all too well. That’s why I can’t figure out how long I’ve exactly been single! Although I do distinctly remember looking at the clock and thinking ‘this is a date and time I’ll remember forever’. It wasn’t long before I in fact, forgot.
My memory decided to let go of about the first two week period, but here’s the little I remember…
It should probably be said that when it happened I wasn’t totally caught off guard, almost as though the information was coming to surface from inside rather than sinking in. For the first few hours I remember just carrying on with my day as usual. I didn’t tell anyone. There were a couple of reasons why: 1. I dreaded what was happening so it felt surreal for it to actually happen. 2. We lived together, and I didn’t want anybody worrying about me being there.
I’m shocked to say I don’t think I even cried, not to the capacity that I have before at least. When a few hours later I was alone for the first time since, I expected the emotions to flood out, but honestly they didn’t come. I recall a lot of times over the past half a year where I have felt bland and emotionless. There has been moments this began to concern me and I sometimes question whether this is the “normal” way to feel. After being down for so long, I wanted to cry because it felt like I should. Like it may help. But it didn’t come and even now, I’ve become much less of a crier than I was. Was it happiness or just the absence of sadness? It’s very dramatic, but the honest way to describe what it was like.
Slowly I left. Back to my parents house. My mum had arranged for my room to be redecorated ready which I really enjoyed and appreciated. By then I had told her, quite suddenly through a text message, that I was home now.
We shared mutual friends who we saw within our moving period, but before we revealed the breakup. That was mighty difficult. Mostly because I felt like I was outright lying to them and I hated that. Although I do remember my best friend looking me in the eyes, and I knew she had worked out something was wrong. I still didn’t tell her. I couldn’t say much to anyone. Those days, I ended up crying a lot.
Moving out made it simultaneously better and worse. Better because you could easily be distracted. Worse because if you weren’t distracted, you were alone. It’s incredible how many different versions of the same story can circulate, and how many people make assumptions just from social media. Even I was confused with what was going on around me and I was a main character so to speak. No longer knowing made a lot of room in my mind for overthinking. There were a few panic attacks and eventually I had to come clean to my friends.
One midnight, my friend gave me a call. I was relieved when all she wanted to tell me was that she was there for me (because at first I was worried she may be in trouble or something!). She also told me the truth about what was going on. Things I hadn’t quite grasped. I felt awful because I could hear that she hated it and I absolutely love her for it!
Oh, I feel like I should address that this post wasn’t at all intended to spread my gossip. There are people who will read this who know what happened, but I don’t feel the need to tell the world at all. So I realise it’s a slightly vague story so far. What I will say is that my ex-boyfriend is a lovely person and even at this point we are good friends. This isn’t a situation where somebody has to be in the wrong. Breakups are a natural and normal part of life. I have persistently stood by that idea to the horror of some people. But at this moment, crying with my friend on the end of the line, it sunk in: hatred was going to be a mistake. Time to let go.
I had spent so long burying my emotions they had coiled tightly, and the spring was ready to be released…